EDiS Culture

EBS Goes International

By Michael Freda, PE, LEED AP • January 11, 2011

Postscript: As a follow-up to my blog posted below, I would like to announce the grand re-opening of the Iron Market. The completion of the re-building of this important landmark provides a symbol of hope for the Haitian people and gives all of us at EDiS reason for both pride and quiet pause.  Click on the link below to view a brief video showing the completed project and part of the re-opening ceremony.

Grand Re-Opening of the Iron Market

Previously blogged on December 2, 2010:

Sometimes our projects take us to the strangest places.

EDiS Building Systems Solutions supplied 64,422 SF (74 tons) of roof panel for the reconstruction of Marche de Fer or “Iron Market.” The project is the most emblematic reconstruction project ongoing in Haiti today and completion of the building is very important to the Haitian people. The historic Iron Market is the central marketplace in Port au Prince. Our client is the Digicel Foundation. Digicel is the largest cell phone service provider in the Caribbean and they are funding, among other projects, the reconstruction of the Iron Market. While our role in the project is minimal, we are humbled to be a part of it and to participate in some small way in the future of Haiti.

urlOur scope included completion of shop drawings and erection drawings; sourcing panel, fasteners, closures, trim and other accessories through numerous vendors; as well as international logistics and coordination with the project team that was located in London, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and Port au Prince.

We were contracted to provide these services on September 30, 2010 and the schedule was frantic. Digicel had scheduled a re-opening ceremony for December 2010 and there was a lot of work to be completed. EDiS completed the shop drawings, ordered the 18 gouge galvalume steel coils with our vendor who had them coated with a Kynar paint finish and had them shipped to the panel fabricator. The panels were packaged into 101 crates that weighed no more than 2,000lbs each as there was limited crane capacity in Haiti to lift the crates onto the roof. We worked with a very cooperative team of international consultants and construction professionals who understood the urgency of the task. The project team included architects from London; structural engineers from Newark, NJ, erectors from right here in Wilmington, Delaware and numerous other participants from Ireland, Jamaica, Haiti, Turks and Cacaos and other locations.

The Iron Market has an interesting history. The steel towers that make up the clock tower looked oddly out of place in this tropical urban setting. The steel towers were designed and fabricated in France in the mid 1800s and were scheduled to be shipped to Cairo, Egypt to be built into a train station facility. That deal fell apart. The then-president of Haiti, Florvil Hyppolite, seized the opportunity to grow his capitol city and with that in mind, purchased the unclaimed towers. The towers and market that grew around them became an important part of the culture for Haiti and the structure has loomed tall as a witness to the dubious history of the forlorn country over the past 150 years.

A photo montage showing the devastation that existed after the January 2010 earthquake to the ceremony celebrating the re-opening of the Iron Market are included in the YouTube link below.

Click here to see a video of the Iron Market